NORTONTHORPE clinched promotion from HCCL Section A on Saturday after a comprehensive victory against third-placed Heckmondwike and Carlinghow.
The match balls for both this and the 2nd team game were sponsored by Mr R and Mrs H Sansom.
Nortonthorpe won the toss and chose to field, and after so much rain recently the odd ball popped dramatically in the early overs.
George Parkes made the first breakthrough as PCooper edged a rising delivery and was well caught low down by Pete Spark at slip.
A Holt soon followed lbw to Parkes, which brought the free-scoring danger man J Hudston to the wicket.
Straight away he signalled his intent by hitting his first ball for four but his third ball was hit tamely to Simon Parton at midwicket, giving Nortonthorpe the wicket they wanted most.
T Wildman and S Rehman then played poor shots to be caught out without scoring and Heckmondwike were floundering at 37-5.
Opener M Crowther was still at the crease though, and looking reasonably comfortable, but he was the next man out, brilliantly caught one-handed at point by J Tucker for 19.
With him gone the rest of the batting surrendered tamely with just 49 runs on the board as Pete Spark collected 4-9 and Paul Wilkinson 4-22.
In reply, Nortonthorpe didn’t start well with both openers back in the pavilion with just 13 runs scored.
Steve Swap and Simon Parton were getting things back on track but they then both fell quickly in succession and Nortonthorpe were now 31-4.
Fortunately for Nortonthorpe there were no more scares as James Parmenter (14 not out) top scored in their 14th maximum-point victory from 15 wins gained.
With three games to play and Nortonthorpe four4 points ahead, the race is on with Almondbury Wesleyans to see who will be champions of Section A.
Nortonthorpe B travelled to Heckmondwike B looking for a win to secure promotion themselves.
With several players required in the first team and K Ward falling ill on the morning of the game they arrived with only 10 men.
Heckmondwike were asked to bat first and were soon in trouble as opener A Cooper was out second ball of the game, but they recovered to 60-3 at the halfway stage and at the close, thanks to some good tight bowling and fielding they were restricted 119-9, helped by number 11 P Exley being dropped twice in the last over.
Brian Woodhead (4-9) and Roger Littlewood (3-26) were the pick for Nortonthorpe.
In reply Nortonthorpe skipper Matt Hayes once again had to open the innings with regular opener Tom Hirst off on another ‘jolly’.
He mirrored the Heckmondwike opener and was out fourth ball of the innings for 0.
E Hirst hung around and made 18 as G Baxter (six – lbw as usual), M Saynor (six) and Littlewood (nought) also went early.
A shocked Brian Woodhead was promoted to number six with the score 29-4. He set about the bowling with some great aggressive shots and also restrained himself when needed as he and Adam Hirst put the visitors in touching distance of the win before Hirst fell for a great 28 with only three required to win.
The win did come from another boundary from Woodhead that also brought up his 50.
The five-point win secured promotion if two teams do go up but also means that Nortonthorpe B still require a point for the championship.